The West Essex influencers you need to follow now
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Meet the social media mavens flying the flag for West Essex
Based in Chigwell, Emma Oxley is the woman behind the blog Emma Eats & Explores — which focuses on “cooking, travel and eating out on a grain-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free diet” — and the Instagram page @emmaeatsandexplores, which has over 45,000 followers. On the blog, she explains that she’s “following [her] version of a low-carb/paleo/specific carbohydrate diet and living a healthy active lifestyle with the travel bug”. Follow Emma for dreamy shots including those of scrumptious-looking food.
There’s no doubt that @ShayneLovesFood loves... well, food! This Instagram account, the brainchild of consultancy owner Shayne Williams from Chigwell, is a foodie’s dream, with everything on offer from pizza to pancakes. Junk food isn’t something to be sniffed at here — this account embraces it in all its delicious glory. Burgers are a big feature of Shayne Loves Food (which at the time of writing had over 85,000 followers), with many of the photos on the page showcasing patties oozing with delectable toppings. It makes you want to ring up your nearest takeaway pronto!
Based in Epping and London, Charlotte Dovey is a social media associate director, “foodie” and “allotmenteer” who, by her own admission, “lives to eat”. Her Instagram account, charaimeedovey (which has over 10,000 followers), is a celebration of the variety of food: the page bursts with colourful dishes. More of Charlotte’s life can be found at @peggythechihuahua_ — the Instagram account for the dog she shares with her husband.
Amy Davies Pereira
The name for Amy’s different accounts might be Little House in London, but we’re not talking somewhere far away from West Essex — in fact, Amy’s Little House is actually situated in South Woodford! Amy’s accounts are a great place to go if you want interiors inspiration, what with the pretty shots of her humble abode that are on offer. The stylist, writer and digital creator, who has a jaw-dropping 80,000+ followers on Instagram, has even been a finalist in the Amara Interior Blog Awards — which “celebrates and engages with the most authoritative and respected bloggers in the interior blogging industry” — two years running. Go Amy!
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If you like lifestyle content, you’ll love Katie Scollan! This Chigwell influencer has a jaw-dropping 350,000+ followers on Instagram, where she posts makeup, skincare and hair videos. Along with a Twitter page, she also has a YouTube channel, Simply Katie, with everything from GCSEs to product hauls featured in her lifestyle-related vids. If you like your TikTok videos, she’s even got a TikTok account too!
Lee and Ruth Harris
Teachers Lee and Ruth Harris are behind the Instagram page @attheharrispeeps, which has over 2,000 followers and showcases the 18th century house they’ve renovated in Epping (now available to rent). In an interview published in West Essex Life in 2019, Ruth said that Lee began the account earlier that year as the couple were always sharing images with family and friends. “I’m an art teacher so people assume I drive the style [of the house], which annoys Lee,” she said. “He’s an economics teacher but has a very good eye and does the Instagram pictures.” Ruth also noted that whereas back in the noughties, she “had a full shelf of design magazines, watched Grand Designs religiously and kept a scrapbook of ideas”, “now you can just surf Instagram to get inspiration and ideas — and also inspire other people with your own ones”.
Elle Linton, who has over 5,500 followers on her Instagram page, @ellelinton, is a “thirtysomething fitness professional and blogger” from Loughton. She’s also a UK ambassador for women’s cycling brand Liv based at Giant Loughton (from which she leads rides for women with HSBC UK Breeze, a UK initiative to get more women cycling for fitness and fun). “I share everything health and fitness-related, including home workouts (and live workouts), running (catch me at Roding Valley parkrun), cycling, recipes and tips for living your best life well,” she tells West Essex Life.
Looking to have a clear-out? Why not enlist the services of This Girl Can Organise, founded by Nicola Lewis? Described as “the UK’s answer to Marie Kondo”, Nicola has a whopping 140,000+ followers on her Instagram account, @thisgirlcanorganise, where — as on her Facebook and Twitter pages — she offers tips and solutions with regard to keeping organising during everyday life. She’s even got the coveted Instagram blue tick — an accolade and a half! The This Girl Can Organise business, based in Hatfield Heath according to Facebook, offers at-home decluttering and organising services around the UK and Europe, as well as a virtual service. Nicola and the team also assist with house moves and bereavement house clearance.
Loughton-based make-up artist Katie Hedderson started her Instagram account, @makeupbykatiesl, to share her work and showcase her business. “I was nervous sharing my work online to start with, but the positive feedback from followers is really motivating,” she told West Essex Life in an interview published in 2019. “It’s also inspiring to see what other people are doing and get ideas.” Katie, who has over 1,000 followers and offers one-to-one lessons alongside appointments, also said: “What I love about being a make-up artist is how creative you can be and the fact that social media has helped turn it into more of an art form. Friends are always asking me to do their make-up now and I’ve now got lots of clients.”
Games journalist Jupiter Hadley, from Harlow, is the owner of the websites Indie Games Plus, Big Boss Battle and Indie Game Jams. She has an active Twitter following of over 12,000 at @Jupiter_Hadley and has been steadily growing her Instagram account. “This is to support my blog at jupiterhadley.com,” she explains. “It’s a lifestyle blog run by myself and my partner Dann. We cover events, restaurant reviews, toys, cat-related content – basically, anything and everything we find interesting.”
Tosin and Zoie Peters
Interior designer Zoie Peters and husband Tosin, from Chigwell, share their lives on their respective Instagram accounts as well as on a joint YouTube channel, Tosin and Zoie, where they have over 10,000 followers. “We love food, travel and all things creative!” they say on YouTube. The couple also share their parenting journey on their Instagram accounts, where their followers number in the thousands.
Seeking travel inspiration? Look no further than @the_mumbling_photographer on Instagram. Loughton-based Oliver Adkins has made it his mission to visit every country in the world, and the breathtaking images on his page — which has over 35,000 followers — document the amazing corners of the globe that he’s travelled to. Whether it’s of a beach in the Philippines or a mountain in Switzerland, you’re sure to find an image that interests you from Oliver’s photos. They certainly put the standard holiday snaps to shame!
TV producer Sammy Summers, who’s worked on programmes like Britain’s Got Talent and Celebrity Big Brother, is also a lifestyle, travel and mummy blogger, sharing her life on her Summers Holiyay blog as well as her Instagram and Twitter pages. The Chigwell influencer’s accounts are ideal for those who love travel and lifestyle topics, with glam shots of the different adventures she’s been on (her Instagram page @summersholiyay has over 2,000 followers). But Sammy’s content is also relatable, with the producer writing honestly (and humorously) about topics like pregnancy.